How Celebrity Chef Dan Churchill Stays Committed to Wellness Wherever His Travels Take Him

Dan Churchill is more than just a cook or a trainer. He is wellness personified, with a litany of titles to show for it: celebrity chef, co-founder of the restaurant Charley St., TV host, bestselling author, and host of “The Epic Table” podcast, to name a few.

Wearing all those hats requires at least a day or two of travel pretty much every week, which seems at odds with a healthy lifestyle. Churchill recognizes the challenges but doesn’t let them get in his way. Instead, he embraces the mantra, “Control the controllable.”

His many gigs determine his schedule but Churchill decides how he directs his energy. Despite his constant coming and going, this past summer and fall, Churchill captained a team of 50 New York City Marathon runners to raise more than $250,000 for City Harvest—enough to feed a million people.

Men’s Health caught up with Churchill to check out his gym and fridge six days before the race as he prepared to kick off race week the same way he starts every day: with a workout. Instead of bringing us inside to scope out his home setup, Churchill had us chase him around the Hudson River Greenway and West Village.

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One of the questions I ask on the podcast is all about the morning routine of my guests. A lot of people refer to sayings like “if you win the morning you win the day” or how the most successful people have the same habit in the morning throughout their career… my morning routine has changed as I have moved countries and as my life has evolved, but I believe in doing whatever I really need to in the morning as by the end of the day distractions and other responsibilities have set in. A major act I like to call controlling the controllable. Currently reading and running are how it all starts as I train for the @nycmarathon and raise money for @cityharvestnyc with @michaelchernow and a 50 strong team. Would love to know how it all starts for you legends ✌️?

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Because he travels so much for work, Churchill’s home gym on any given day might be a park bench, jogging path, or even a hotel room floor—all part of controlling the controllable. He swears you can accomplish plenty in 30 minutes no matter where you are. “A tabata routine is perfect: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, do that eight times” he says. “All you need is the will to get after that workout.”

When we finally managed to chase Churchill back to his West Village loft, he was foraging for snacks. His post-workout go-to is a simple shake of peanut butter, banana, and his favorite nut milk, cashew. Churchill fuels his busy life the same way he prepares the menu at Charley St. “For me, it’s all about eating plenty of color; no refined sugars, minimal processes, and simply, flavor always wins.”

That’s not to say he doesn’t indulge. He just does so relative to his own admittedly high standards. “My guilty pleasure are cashews,” Churchill shrugs. “It’s pathetic. But it’s true.”

“All you need is the will to get after that workout.”

Churchill portions out his favorite snacks to avoid overeating and to be ready to stuff some in his pocket when it’s time for the next flight. It’s one of a few key travel hacks he’s picked up from a life spent on the go. Another big one, which helps him maintain both his exercise and eating routines, is staying at Westin Hotels & Resorts wherever he goes.

“It helps me control the controllable. The Eat Well Menu is nutritious and locally, sustainably sourced whenever possible. And super tasty,” he says. “They have running maps at every Westin hotel and some even have a run concierge so you have that motivation wherever you go.”

The final major tip to remember when it comes to staying fit while traveling, Churchill notes, is that: “Recovery is the most neglected thing.” For the best sleep quality, he says, “I get away from blue light before I go to bed, and Westin has the beautiful Heavenly Bed, so it’s a nice, deep sleep that gives me the recovery I need for the next day ahead.”

Of course, there was no time for napping on this day. Churchill was off to the airport, bound for another destination, another gig, another gym and fridge.

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